Fantasy literature always has the potential to compel lovers of the genre. Whether it’s through a strange new world, an engrossing cast of characters, a new, bizarre concept or a mythical mastercraft, fantasy literature can inspire the imagination like no other genre.
Fantasy literature is also a lot of fun to write, and coupled with the ability to self-publish on the likes of Amazon, it has really taken off as a genre that beginners want to write.
But writing isn’t just something you launch into without a plan or any idea of what to do once you’ve written that first draft. Writing fantasy is a skill that must be developed through ongoing methods like re-reads, world development, character arcs and more, so it is important to know which steps to take to ensure your literary fantasy books are those that make you the next J.R.R. or the similarly-named G. R. R.
Here are five tips for ensuring that happens:
- Get to (really) know the genre
Sure, you’re a fantasy lover, and you’ve spent your whole life reading the classics. But, have you really been taking in said classics? Have you understood the way Frodo gets drawn into his quest, thus beginning the Lord of the Rings adventure?
Once you have decided that you want to write fantasy literature yourself, it’s important to read over your favourites so that you know how a classic fantasy works.
What is the challenge your main character faces? What are they setting out to achieve? By reading the classics and taking notes, you will be able to spot the catalysts that propel the novel and be able to apply these techniques to your own story.
- Write what you want to read
Nothing should give you, the author, more confidence in your story than writing something that you yourself wants to read. Think about it this way: if you begin writing a story that you yourself aren’t too interested in but you assume the reader will be, will you actually have the confidence to continue writing it?
Probably not, because you might be lost in a fantasy world that isn’t of your choosing. Instead, write the stuff you would thoroughly enjoy reading. After all, there are millions of like minded fantasy readers out there that would most likely love to enter your new world – take them on the journey there and do it with pride.
- Start with short stories & then step it up
For beginners writers, creating a world the likes of which you would find in Game of Thrones or The Lord of the Rings is (usually) going to be quite difficult. Writing is a skill that needs constant development, so it’s a good idea to start by writing short stories and then eventually expanding to your novel once you get the hang of creating these awesome new worlds.
As you develop, you will find tricks and techniques that help you keep an overarching view of your new fantasy world, and this is pivotal so that you don’t find yourself convoluting the story or making continuity errors.
Creating a new world is possibly the most difficult part of writing fantasy, as it can present the author with all kinds of storyline, character, interpersonal and thematic challenges, and for this reason it’s always good to start small and develop your craft/skills as time goes on.
These three imperative tips are genre-specific in the way that they will help you develop that crucial, all-important world that makes fantasy so epicly rich – take them on board and you will find that, with all the hard work that goes into writing, your fantasy novel should soon start to take its awesome form.